Every year, members of the “brotherhood” process from the church through the main streets of Panchimalco to honor the Virgin of Candelaria.
PANCHIMALCO, El Salvador ꟷ Panchimalco, a municipality of San Salvador, means “place of shields and flags.” It remains home to the Brotherhood of the Virgin of Candelaria.
The Catholic Church in Panchimalco was erected in the pre-Columbian era over 200 years ago. Many consider the building the architectural jewel of the country. Every year, members of the “brotherhood” process from the church through the main streets of Panchimalco to honor the Virgin of Candelaria. The walk culminates at the house of the “mayordoma,” home to parishioners and volunteers. The volunteers, mainly women, cook special dishes with tamales and chicken soup for visitors, as they enjoy the images of the virgin.
At the end of the ceremony, attendees celebrate the presentation of the Child Jesus. It marks the 40th day after Christ’s birth when Mary and Joseph presented him at the temple. The Catholic Church named the Virgin of Candelaria the mother of the Latin American people. Members of the brotherhood dress
The members of the Brotherhood dress as Moors [people of Muslim origin], Christians, and other historical figures. Approximately 15 people dance to the rhythm of flutes and drums during the procession to honor their patron saint.
All photos courtesy of Nubia Beatriz Rivas Alvarenga.
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